‘Girls5eva’ Cast and Showrunner on Netflix Comeback and Paying Homage to Real-Life Pop Stars

Girls5eva, which is headed into its third season this week, tells the story of four women who were members of a briefly popular girl band and are now back together, two decades later, in a second attempt at success. The show pokes fun at the absurdity of the real pop culture landscapes in both the ’90s and today, but the cast and crew want to be clear: The laughs are made with love.

“The show, for us, has always been this beautiful kind of healing,” star Renee Elise Goldsberry tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It gives refuge.”

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The Tiny Fey-produced comedy is written and created by Meredith Scardino (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and stars Goldsberry, Sara Bareilles, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps.

Part of that healing, Goldsberry and her castmates say, comes from their regard for Scardino’s source material.

“If there’s any piece that feels like it could be someone [specific] from the past, it is with such love and reverence that we all have,” Philipps tells The Hollywood Reporter. “All of it is with love, and with the understanding that especially young women in this industry, and all industries, are really up against so much.”

Philipps speaks of the pressures endured by women of the Britney Spears generation: “They survived in spite of, they were successful in spite of, they smiled through it in spite of all these things that were being put on them,” she says. “They’re still here, and [the Girls5eva women] are that, too.”

Scardino says the show is an amalgam of her own fandoms. “There’s so many parts of myself and a lot of the writers in these characters,” she tells THR.

“It all becomes a soup that influences the characters,” she adds, which is a mixture of “all the things that young people went through in the Y2K era especially, of pop music that was assembling a lot of girl and boy groups.”

After two seasons and a cancellation on Peacock, Girls5eva avoided its near TV death with the 2022 announcement that Netflix would renew the series for a third run. The six-episode season, along with the first two installments, will hit the mega-streamer Thursday.

“We always feel so blessed,” Goldsberry says. “It is always such a pinch me feeling to get to do the show.”

The cast and crew are also hopeful that Netflix’s wider reach — and the bingeability of all three seasons — will draw new audiences to the Girls5eva universe.

“We didn’t feel like we needed to do a lot of catching people up with the storylines [of season three], because you probably will binge it,” Scardino says. “I’m hoping that people who knew the show already might watch the third season and then rewatch the old ones, or brand new people, just watch it from the beginning and then sail right through to the to the end.”

“This show has not run its course yet,” Bareilles said of the cancellation. “We [needed] to find a home for it.”

The first two seasons and all six episodes of season three of Girls5eva hit Netflix March 14.

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